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LETTER: Stand up for Handel

From Mr C. J. Roulston

Sir: To give a partial reply to Mr Brend's enquiry (letter, 12 August), I can remember standing during the Hallelujah Chorus, with about three- quarters of the audience, during Handel's Messiah at the Royal Festival Hall and elsewhere during the Seventies. The practice is attributed to King George II who, transported with enthusiasm at an early performance, leapt to his feet, giving everyone else present little choice but to join in. If the custom has now died out, it must be very recently.

I have not heard of anyone standing for the last movement of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. Weighing in at over 20 minutes, this would seem somewhat excessive.

Yours faithfully,

C. J. Roulston

Reigate, Surrey